Assigning DIssents?

Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Mon Sep 24 13:53:33 PDT 2007


Kim's obviously more familiar with recent practice than I am.  In the
old days, "assign" would be a bit strong.  Sometimes there'd be a
volunteer.  If, after a reasonable period, no one had volunteered, the
senior in dissent would send around a note saying, roughly, "It would be
nice if someone tried his hand at a dissent.  X, would you like to try?"
And, unlike the situation with majority opinions, there was no norm
requiring that X do so (the norm for majority opinions was that X could
decline, but had to say something like, "I'm still not sure where I come
out on this one, so it would be better for someone else to write.").

 

Mark Tushnet

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law

223 Areeda Hall

Harvard Law School

Cambridge, MA  02138

ph:  617-496-4451 (office); 202-374-9571 (mobile); 617-496-4866 (fax)

________________________________

From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Kermit Roosevelt
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2007 4:21 PM
To: Steven Jamar
Cc: Conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: RE: Assigning DIssents?

 

That is the process.  The senior dissenting justice assigns a dissent,
though anyone else who wants to write one can, just as anyone in the
majority who wants to can write a concurrence.

 

Kermit Roosevelt

Professor of Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School

3400 Chestnut St.

Philadelphia Pa 19104

215.746.8775

 

________________________________

From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of Steven Jamar
Sent: Mon 9/24/2007 4:14 PM
Cc: Conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Assigning DIssents?

I look forward to hearing from someone who really knows, but I thought
this was always the process.  Chief, if in majority, assigns the
opinion to someone in the majority, or if not in the majority, the
senior justice assigns.  And same rule for dissents.

But this just what I've been told, not something I otherwise know.

Steve


On 9/24/07, dynia at loyno.edu <dynia at loyno.edu> wrote:
> Yesterday's New York Times Magazine had a profile of Justice
> Stevens by Jeffrey Rosen. In that article, Stevens is quoted
> several times as saying he assigned dissents to other
> justices in the minority. Am I missing something here? Since
> when did the senior justice in the minority "assign"
> dissents. Did he mean he suggested that someone write a
> dissent? I'm confused.
>
> Phil Dynia
> Chair, Political Science Department
> Loyola University New Orleans
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--
Prof. Steven Jamar
Howard University School of Law
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